Anyone keep diaries or planners?

Hey Waypoint! Thought I’d follow up the Diaries in 2017 thread for the new year (and beyond).

I was gifted a classy lil’ Hobonichi Techo for Christmas and I’m really excited to use it, but I don’t know how and I seriously don’t want to neglect one for the nth time. :frowning: Anyway, I’m using apricotsushi’s flip-throughs for inspiration, and I’ve recently discovered Hobonichi Love. I’ll try and post some pictures as I fill mine up. How bout y’all? Please share your experiences with planners! :slight_smile:

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I have a little yellow moleskine planner rn and I’ve kept a planner on and off for the past 4 and a half years. They haven’t really been big enough for journaling, but just going through what I need to do each day and for the week helps compartmentalize it. Hobonichi is a great deal more intense than anything I’ve done, but I think just thinking about significant elements of the day or physical objects you want to remember and placing them in the journal is a good place to start.

I’ve recently gotten into collaging. Because the stakes are so low, I have an ability to just through something together and use what I have. I think this is the right approach with something like this, trying to make art or something rewarding without worrying too much about quality. Let yourself enough the process of creation, without stressing as much as possible, is a really freeing and beautiful process.

But honestly, I think you are much farther ahead than I would be! But I hope this helps a bit.

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Yes and no. I don’t keep either, but do kind have alternatives to both.

Daily planners are too stressful for me outside of a work environment. Being unemployed, my time is much more flexible and making it rigid (beyond appointments and whatnot) adds more stress than it reduces. Instead I keep a stress board in my house: a cork board that I regularly pin recipe cards with stressors onto. Once those stressors no longer affect me, I remove them from the board. It fills the holes of a planner, but allows for more general and/or persistent stressors to be organized (like my relationships, for example)

A diary I have no real interest in, but the act of recounting your emotions and experiences, process them in a healthy manner, and being able to keep them behind you and learn from them is a necessary tool to handling anxiety. I have books where I just write in them when I’m anxious so I can process everything in a slow, methodical way without letting my brain go a mile a minute worrying about the whole thing, putting me at risk for an anxiety attack.


I don’t have a dedicated planner but I do makeshift “Bullet Journaling” on whatever note paper I have at hand. It helps me get over the ADHD mind static of starting and prioritizing (and remember completed) tasks at work and home. It also gives me the brain candy sensation of “doing something” that can get the gumption juices flowing, which mitigates the frequent social media “breaks” I’m prone too taking.


I would second what @Reyturner said - bullet journaling, with a fair amount of personalization, helps me quiet my over-active mind and focus on the tasks at hand. Sometimes I use my bullet journal for more than just tasks at work (I’ll go through spurts of using it to track food intake, write small reflections, work on developing habits, etc.) but I find it most useful to use when I get to work every morning to plan out my tasks for the day.

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I’ve had a real rough ride with depression and anxiety over the past couple of years. I used to poo-poo journaling as something teenagers did, but recently I’ve started journaling daily and I find getting my thoughts and feeling on paper is a good way to examine them. Once something is on paper I feel like it’s not in my head anymore and this can be a huge relief. I also use the a colour-based system to track my mood on a day-by-day basis and tie this back to events or energy levels to try and identify patterns that I might be able to use as warning signs that a rough period is coming. If it looks like something is going to happen I can put more effort into exercising, getting more rest, and other things that make me feel better.

I also use the same journal to make lists of things I want to watch/play, and the last six pages are a list of all the Pokemon I still have to collect.

In general, a journal has now become a really cool carry-all for my life and I love it.

I use the Leuchtturm 1917 (Bullet Journal edition), because it has a dotted grid that I find really pleasing.


Wow, the Hobonichi is gorgeous. I would seriously consider getting one if I hadn’t already gone all in on my current set-up. It looks like it’d be perfect for bullet journaling.

I don’t really bullet journal, but I watch a ridiculous amount of Plan With Me bujo videos on youtube and I set up my own planner with many of its principles and design features in mind (I use the key, the boxes and symbols, some of the trackers, logs, and spreads). I use a Staples ARC discbound system. Basically, it’s a planner with cool discs for the spine. You can add and remove pages at will without destroying the paper (like a binder), but you can also fold the planner in on itself (like a notebook). At the moment, mine is filled with printables I made + purchases from Etsy.

For me, my planner (and calendar – and my to do list ;3) are essential tools to get anything done, especially if I’m not working my day job. If I don’t use my planner, I normally spend way too long on a single task or I put off working on the stuff that I need to until I don’t have enough time to do all of my tasks well or to completion. My planner is almost exclusively for organization. There’s isn’t much notetaking or journalling. I put that kind of stuff into my sketchbook instead. I thumb through those often enough to actually make those notes useful. I’ve been thinking about adding a section to make a note on my mood/diet/etc for the sake of future analysis more than any kind of mental offloading.

I log my goals, plan out the steps and create targets/deadlines on a yearly/monthly/weekly basis. I have a weekly spread in addition to daily spreads where I can break my day down by hour. Since I sketch everyday, I don’t have any energy left over to make my planner pretty, but one of my side projects for the year is to slowly upgrade my planner so that it perfectly suits my needs with *all custom pages. I want the challenge of designing it because since I’ve started planning I feel that I’ve been happier. There’s comfort in creating a rough guideline for my day because I no longer have to grapple with this feeling of not knowing what I’m supposed to do or if what I’m doing in that current moment is okay. If I break from my schedule then I do so with intention and I’ll know in that moment what kind of effect it will have on the rest of my week.

I’m sorry for bloviating about planning/planners, I just really love mine!

  • The exception: I plan on incorporating some of my favorite coloring book pages by Christian Ward as monthly covers, so those won’t be my handiwork.
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Thank you! That’s the mindset I want to cultivate in myself. One reason I tend to give up on keeping a planner is because I sort of viewed its quality as an indicator of my life’s quality, so that would stress me out a lot. Like If my handwriting wasn’t up to par one day it would kill my interest in continuing further. So that’s an attitude I want to be free from. Oh I’m also going to try collaging because it’s fun, but not everyday or the Techo would become too thick to close :stuck_out_tongue:

@dosymedia Kudos on committing to Bujo. How long did it take you to figure all of this out? Because holy crap that’s a sophisticated setup you’ve got. I want to get to the point where I regularly log projects as well as other stats like diet or exercise.

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I found a nice moleskine still in its shrinkwrap while I was cleaning out a desk and I’m trying to use it for checklists and reminders and jotting down ideas. Very informal, but I like producing that sort of mental collage.

Hm, I’d say it’s been an accumulative process.

I didn’t get the idea to actually make my own planner until I saw Fran Meneses post about the process of making her own. After some googling, I found out that lots of folks had brilliant solutions about how to go about it. So, over a period of two months, I worked for about three hours, one day a week, on creating my first planner pages, researching systems, ordering the supplies I needed, and etc. I’m not counting my youtube binges in those numbers because yikes.

The pages I made are very utilitarian and I didn’t include dates on them, so they only took a couple of weekends to make. My personal deadline was January 1st, so whatever spreads I didn’t finish (basically, all of the monthly ones), I bought a few days before. Putting the actual planner together (or the first month, I should say) took maybe two hours? I don’t have a double-sided printer and I don’t have anything like InDesign, so I had to make sure my pages printed in order and turn them myself. Having done it once, I think it will take less time, but I’m still considering buying a cheap printer to make my life easier.

Now, I spend an hour or two every week drawing potential spreads to bring into Photoshop. I’m hoping to finish a project planning spread (inspired by Happy D on Youtube) for next month!

I should note that I like this kind of stuff to begin with, so none of it was painful for me to do. It’s easy to get overwhelmed with journalling after watching all the bujo/plan with me videos out there, but I think it’s best to start with the barebones and build your journal up according to your needs as you go. It’s also important to be kind to yourself. The coolest thing about journaling is seeing your own evolution, so my advice to anyone starting out a more structured system is to allow yourself to make mistakes, to miss days and all that.

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I don’t have a journal or anything, like real, but I do have a little notepad I keep general shit in. Like if someone tells me “get a pen and paper” it’s what I grab, but it’s also got the titles of songs I hear so I can find them later, lines of poetry, fanfic concepts, etc. I’m a physically organized person, but less than stellar in my own brainscape, so it’s better to have kind of an all-purpose book.

It’s a Moleskine now, but I’m considering switching to a Rhodia, since I like using felt tip and fountain pens, and Moleskine is basically only good for pencil and ballpoint pen because of feathering/ink bleed issues. The only felt tip pen I’ve found that works good with Moleskine is the Pilot Super Petit Marker, which is why I own two of them, but it’s not refillable so fuck me I guess. I’m not gonna lie, I’m a bit more into the stationary aspect than I am about recording my thoughts and shit.

I have a bunch of notebooks/journals. I have a “main” notebook unlined from Paperblanks that I use for weekly meetings and planning for major projects. It is the most “planner” style journal I have because I write the date and location at the meeting. I have a huge stack of past ones and can rifle through them to find a specific date and where I was mentally or what stage of development I was at.
I also have a thin Moleskin I keep in my back pocket at all times where I can sketch things or jot down ideas. The more down I’m feeling the more fastidious I become in marking the date and things. At my lowest I created a key for what the notes were indicating (eg “D” for dream, “S” for story idea, etc) but recently I write down something I hear from someone that sounds interesting and I know I’ll forget.
I also keep loads of loose card stock around the house and studio for ideas or bulleted lists and things. Extremely useful in the present, useless for organizing or archiving in the future.
I had a Hobonichi Techo a couple years ago and was pretty good at recording activities for a good bunch of months but fell off the second half of the year. It was lovely though, yellow with a bunch of Mr. Saturn’s all over it.

i’ve been keeping journals for the last ten years or so. general thoughts, ideas for creative projects, notes on interesting things that i’m reading, etc. also some standard “what i did today”. i try to keep track of self care stuff - i mark down if i meditated that day, exercised, whatever. i think it’s a fun practice.

i keep all of my old journals - i’ve got a stack probably a foot tall now, stashed away in a closet. i don’t go back to look at them, but one day i’ll sit down and read them all. i’ll probably cry.

I am very much a person who would keep a journal, except once I miss a day I get that self-defeating “well theres no point now” thing going.
My alternative has been to spread stuff out so much that I don’t feel defeated, even if that ends up making things very disorganized in retrospect. I have a Notes app full of recipes, saved media recommendations, and little diary notes - usually things that started as social media posts but ended up either a)too big / long or b) too personal. I clean that out regularly so only important things stick around.
In addition to that, I have replaced planners with the same to-do app I’ve had an account with for a decade. It makes me feel a little old-manish to never replace this, but its dead simple and allows, but does not require, deadlines. It has been a huge boon to transfer my schoolwork and other goal-oriented stuff to a digital format. Planners lead to repeating the same goal over and over for me - a todo app lets me look at things further out without feeling overwhelmed…
That leaves the physical stuff. I recently switched from “torn out notebook paper” to the lovely Field Notes after receiving one as a gift. They’re a perfect size for keeping around where you need them, and I end up putting important things like OC outfits and pen brand reviews in there. It’s great to keep the fluffier stuff I want to write down separate from everything else.